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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There's Nothing Wrong With Admitting Your Mistakes!

Extra post, all.

There's an element in our culture that says that nobody should screw up.  Only problem is, all of us do.  All of us, no matter who we are.

There's also an element in our culture that demands that people who screw up admit their mistakes, apologize, and try to make good on it.  Only problem is, when we do that, there's another element in our culture that demands that we suffer consequences.

So which is it?  If the errant party is not lying, not being selfish, not pointing fingers, and not making excuses, why the hostility?  Don't we all want people to accept accountability for the 1-5% of the time that they're not on the ball?  And if it really is only 1-5% of the time that they screw up, don't we owe them enough respect to withhold any desires to flay the skin from their bodies?  Don't they deserve a little "that's OK" if it can be easily corrected?  And if they're ready, willing, and able to make it right, shouldn't they be given the chance to do so?

Don't get me wrong, most of us do screw up only 1-5% of the time, if we're smart, conscientious, and honestly care about the things we do.  But if the percentage is higher than that, somebody's got some real problems to work through.

However, if the vast majority of the time, we know what we're doing, what's the harm in indulging a small amount of human error?  I'm not talking about felonies or negligence causing injuries, mind you, I'm talking about just every day stuff.  Maybe it's annoying that someone else didn't get it right, but if you're feeling angry enough to start an argument, don't aim it that person's way.  Chances are, they already know they screwed up, and they don't need some abusive comment or threat to make it worse.

And for those of us who do have the misfortune of having a 1-5% day, nobody should feel so threatened that they can't admit a screw-up.  If it didn't cost anyone money, and didn't result in death or injury, there's nothing wrong at all with admitting that you did it.  We're taught to forgive and apologize from such early ages, who keeps sending us these mixed messages?

Bottom line, we're all human.  Don't use it as a crutch to not avoid making mistakes, but let it be a reminder that none of us is perfect all of the time.  If you make a mistake, don't listen to those who would rub it in your face.  And if someone else has made a mistake that impacts you, if it can be remedied, save your steam for something else.